Tarantella Dance in Early Cinema

Anna Pavlova in “The Dumb Girl of Portici” (Lois Weber and Phillips Smalley, 1916). Film still, courtesy of Milestone Films.

“Tarantella Dance in Early Cinema: A Pillar of Neapolitan Urban Architecture”, Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, Volume 46, Issue 2 (August 2019) (doi: 10.1177/1748372719865552).

“Pavlova’s acting style did not derive from a misunderstood relationship with the camera, but rather from her ballet training. Dance and pantomime were indeed both the means of expression of the ballet d’action, the art in vogue between the second half of the eighteenth and the early nineteenth century, which later evolved into the romantic ballet that was part of Pavlova’s repertoire.”

Elisa Uffreduzzi